For immediate release: November 19, 2008
For further information contact: Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig
The Middlesex Vicinage Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns (VACMC) was named the 2008 winner of the American Bar Association's Judge Edward R. Finch Speech Award, announced Middlesex Vicinage Assignment Judge Travis L. Francis.
The Judge Edward R. Finch Law Day Speech Award was established in 1968 by Edward R. Finch Jr., in memory of his father. In addition to being a member of the American Bar Association Adjunct Committee on Law Day, Judge Finch served as a justice of the Supreme Court of New York, and then as a judge of the New York Court of Appeals. The award recognizes speeches that help the public understand the rule of law and appreciate the important role the law plays in our society.
The Middlesex Vicinage earned the award by hosting Dr. Lenworth Gunther, whose presentation was entitled "The Rule of Law: Dimensions of Dynamism in American Democracy." Dr. Gunther's discussion, which included Brown v. Board of Education, women's voting rights in the 1920s, the Dred Scott case, as well as the Nuremberg trials in Germany in the 1940s, challenged the student audience to reflect on the rule of law and how laws by themselves mean nothing, but instead their importance lies in enforcement and how citizens utilize them.
Established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, Law Day is celebrated nationwide, usually on May 1, as an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the role that our legal system plays in upholding our democratic values.
Hosted by the vicinage's Minority Concerns Committee, the Middlesex Vicinage Law Day events were held at the New Jersey Law Center on Monday, May 19. In addition to Dr. Gunther's keynote address, the event included a reading of the Law Day proclamation by Assignment Judge Francis and a mock trial presentation by students from South Brunswick High School, the 2008 winners of the Middlesex County mock trial competition.